The Indianapolis Colts host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday for the Wild Card matchup of the playoffs. Not team is completely healthy at this point in the season, but both teams are expecting key players to be out.
The Bengals have officially announced that wide receiver A.J. Green is out for Sunday’s game. This is a huge blow to the Cincinnati offense as Green has been quarterback Andy Dalton‘s favorite target for years now.
The Colts defeated the Bengals back in Week 7 and a large part of that win had to do with the absence of Green. The receiving corps for Cincy weren’t able to get open in that game and the Colts were able to tee off against the Bengals run game.
Without a deep threat in Green, the Colts can play single man coverage on the Bengals wide receivers and stack the box against Jeremy Hill.
For the Colts, there are only three players who have been ruled out or likely won’t play.
Earlier this week, right tackle Gosder Cherilus was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. He had a rough season and might have been playing through injury all year.
Guard Hugh Thornton has been ruled out for Sunday with a shoulder injury. He missed seven games this season after earning a starting spot at right guard.
Center A.Q. Shipley is listed as doubtful with an ankle sprain. Even if he were healthy, there’s always a good chance Shipley won’t see the field.
Trent Richardson has also been out all week with an illness and is listed as questionable. While the Colts don’t need his running “ability,” he is still the best pass blocking RB on the roster.
A number of other Colts have recovered from nagging injuries just in time for the playoffs.
Reggie Wayne is probable despite suffering a groin injury against the Titans in the season finale. His injury woes this season all stemmed from an awkward hit in the first meeting with the Bengals.
Guard Joe Reitz is listed as probable with an ankle injury.
Linebacker Jerrell Freeman is expected to return to the lineup with a hamstring injury that kept him out last week.
Tight end Dwayne Allen is also probable with a knee injury he suffered two weeks ago.
Bengals Injury Report
WR AJ Green – Concussion – Out
TE Jermaine Gresham – Back – Doubtful
CB Leon Hall – Rest – Probable
HB Cedric Peerman – Concussion – Questionable
WR Dane Sanzenbacher – Concussion – Out
OT Andrew Whitworth – Rest – Probable
WR James Wright – Knee – Out